Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

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Florence is now been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in the US, Thursday as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Weather Service said 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches. The slow-moving storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, is expected. "That means the more trees that could fall, the more power outages", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

"The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper said there are 750,000 to 1 million people under evacuation orders.

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In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state.

Global Affairs Canada issued a statement Wednesday saying the areas to be avoided extend from Edisto Beach in SC to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound.

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all.

In Columbia, South Carolina, Barry Sparks, a 66-year-old retiree, was thinking of getting out after the path of the storm shifted to the south.

"He was thinking of coming here until this morning, and now he asked me if I wanted to come up there", he said.

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"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

"We are uniquely positioned to establish a quick ad-hoc supply chain to support relief efforts", said Bettina Stix, an Amazon veteran credited with developing DRbA.

While Hurricane Florence has sparked state of emergency and mass evacuation, a very unfortunate weather graphic has managed to put a smile on those preparing for the storm.

"We have to be careful we're not asking them to come back to Beaufort County through a storm", he said. "Protection of life is the absolute highest priority and that's what we are doing".

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